Highly Dangerous Crash Re-ignites Debate Around Sausage Kerbs as Car Goes Airborne

Published 11/02/2021, 11:05 AM EDT


Sausage kerbs are once again topic of debate in motorsports.

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On Sunday, in the last race of the season in Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine (FRECA), both Prema drivers Dino Beganovic and David Vidales were racing in front.

With wheel-to-wheel action for the lead, Vidales tried to make a move from the outside to which Beganovic defended, resulting in both drivers going off track.

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But as they came back on track, Beganovic hit the sausage kerb at full speed.

This launched his car in the air and then he crashed into Vidales, knocking them both out of the race.

This incident has led to many people again questioning the usage of sausage kerbs.

But, first, what are sausage kerbs?

To put it simply, they’re like all kerbs but with small bumps to slow down drivers and prevent them from going off track.

Criticism of sausage kerbs isn’t new

In the past few years, the criticism of these kerbs gained a lot of momentum with a string of accidents.

In 2019, Alex Peroni of Formula 3, had a huge crash as his car was sent airborne after hitting those kerbs in Monza.

In Macau’s street circuit, Sophia Florsch suffered a horrific crash as her car flew and crashed into the fence.

In Formula 1 too, teams have argued that these kerbs can destroy a car.

These are enough reasons, on enough levels for FIA to remove sausage kerbs altogether. But is all criticism fair?

To some extent.

Sausage Kerbs are there for a reason

If you look at most of the crashes that occur because of sausage kerbs, it’s usually when a driver hits them straight at high speeds.

That is not to say that it’s the drivers who are at fault for trying to exit quicker on corners and race faster.

But they can avoid them, at least according to F1 Race Director Michael Massi.

“It was a driver’s choice. You can drive into a kerb or go to the left of it, which we saw numerous times over the course of the weekend.

The weekend he’s referring to is the one in which F1 raced at Monza, wherein Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen’s incident, the kerbs worked quite well.

Formula One F1 – Italian Grand Prix – Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza, Italy – September 12, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen after crashing out of the race with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini

Even so, it is a matter of life and death with crashes at high speeds, so the argument should and will always swing into the driver’s interest.

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It would be interesting to see how FIA, who have made several leaps in keeping the safety of drivers a priority, deal with this issue of sausage kerbs.

Will they introduce an alternative, or will they keep them as they are?

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Shaharyar

171 articles

Shaharyar is a Formula 1 & NASCAR writer at EssentiallySports. A Graduate in Journalism from Amity University, he has been a passionate follower of motorsports for the better part of the decade. A Max Verstappen and Ferrari supporter, he dreams of a pairing of the two in the future.

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